AEP Grants $50,000 for Lake Michigan College Mendel Center Improvements

Nov 10, 2017
The renovation will include an updated design and improved functionality to the 14,440 square foot hall and its adjacent lobby. New lighting and technology will be purchased to meet event and trade show standards.

Located in The Mendel Center on LMC’s Benton Harbor Campus, Grand Upton Hall is the largest indoor venue in the region, with more than 50,000 visitors annually. 

“Two key areas that are important to the AEP Foundation include education and overall quality of life in the communities where our employees live and work,” said Joel Gebbie, American Electric Power’s Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer. “The LMC Mendel Center’s Grand Upton Hall has been a longtime resource for the people of Southwest Michigan, showing excellence in providing exactly these things. We are pleased to continue to support Lake Michigan College in their efforts to create even better opportunities and experiences for the community going forward.”

The renovation will be the first comprehensive upgrade of the space since it opened in the 1970s. Construction is slated to begin in summer, 2019. To date, Lake Michigan College has raised more than $800,000 toward project.

“We are very grateful for the continued support from AEP that helps us to provide excellent service to our students and community,” said Dr. Trevor Kubatzke, Lake Michigan College president. “With this grant, the college will be able to provide the meeting space and state-of-the-art technology that is expected by our visitors.”

The American Electric Power Foundation is funded by American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) and its utility operating units, including Indiana Michigan Power (I&M). Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, I&M serves approximately 587,000 customers in Indiana and Michigan. The Foundation provides a permanent, ongoing resource for charitable initiatives involving higher dollar values and multi-year commitments in the communities served by AEP and initiatives outside of AEP’s 11-state service area.

The Lake Michigan College Foundation is a non-profit organization lead by a regional board of directors. The foundation serves as the college’s main fundraising organization, receiving and managing private gifts that support the college’s mission. To establish a scholarship or support college programs through a gift or an estate plan, contact (269) 927-6849. Learn more at